Despite the occasional heavy shower and the blustery winds it was a good weekend for horse and rider at the Equivallée at Cluny. The three major events this afternoon were jumping, carriage driving and pony club games.
The gusts of wind disrupted the pony games as the balls were being blown off the posts before the girls could get to them to put them in the baskets. But they did the best they could and enjoyed taking turns in the potato races and galloping back to their teams, sometimes rather precariously.
Fun in the pony games
All shapes and sizes of horses took part in the carriage driving competition, from shaggy ponies to immaculately groomed thoroughbreds.
Well turned out for the carriage racing
The wind was a nuisance in the show jumping competition as freak gusts would blow down the fences before the horse had chance to jump them.
A pretty backdrop for the jumping competition
Cluny is one of the best venues in France for showjumping and eventing, and of course there is the Haras, the horse breeding centre, just next to the Equivallée. Next door is the Hippodrome, the race track. Cluny really is heaven on earth for people that love horses.
We have our very own Cortambert rock group, and very talented they are too. There was a great concert at Massilly on April 21st which marked the beginning of this summer’s live appearances.
Awen at Massilly
There were just three in the band when it started in October 2010, but soon Florence became the voice of Awen and Christophe joined on bass guitar. Alain and Cedric are on guitar and Olivier is on drums.
If you missed them they will be at the foyer rural at Cortambert on 9thJune at 20 h. Rock ‘Tambert 2012 will begin with Rats Babas (Rock accoustique) followed by Awen for the second half. It’s free entry and there’s a buvette.
Florence, Christophe and Cedric
Awen will also play through the night on 21st October at the Fête du Vin Nouveau. This will be at the Café du Centre, Prissé, starting at 20 h.
This band is getting quite a following. You can see more photos if you go to their site http://awen.e-monsite.com/ Florence rather reminds me of Eddi Reader from Fairground Attraction, and Cedric of Brian May. Do get to see them if you can.
As Chris could not bear to part with any of the kittens we still have all four of them. And White Cat, their mother, still has us. She thinks the kittens should be long gone so she hisses at them if they come within spitting distance. The kittens take no notice of this and like to see her. White Cat sleeps peacefully on our bed during the day. Do you remember Chris saying Don’t feed that cat, and She’s not coming in the house…? When it gets dark she goes out for the night shift and the kittens stay in.
The kittens still have their distinctive personalities. Benedict is the rather greedy adventurous one and is usually called Oy! Benedict!. Benedict is dapper, like an old-fashioned gent with moustache and beard, dressed up in a sleek grey frockcoat with white waistcoat.
Benedict and Claude
You might think he would be the boss but it is little Blanche who rules the roost. Blanche is petite and pretty with big dark green eyes and she gets what she wants by batting her siblings on the nose or, with Chris, being cute.
Blanche with Benedict
Smudge is easygoing and rather plain but just like her mum. From her we can guess how amiable White Cat might have been had we had her from birth.
Claude is a rangy bag of bones covered by a skin that is two sizes too big. He is rather clumsy with his outsized feet and somewhat simple, but he is beside himself with pleasure when he is offered a lap. Claude is by far the biggest cat but he is the last in the pecking order and will just sit and watch while the others eat his dinner.
We do have more than the one chair
So, there you have it. We have gone from an ordered household with a no pets policy to living with five cats within the space of a year. The moral of this tale is don’t feed any stray cats!
You can look back to previous kitten blogs on http://www.cormatin.eu/blog/?tag=kittens
Whilst searching for information or inspiration while writing blogs I often come across informative articles on www.americansinfrance.net. Jeff Steiner is the brains behind this site which is a resource for Americans who would like to live or travel in France. Although it is geared towards Americans it is useful for anyone coming to France, not for the info on tourist attractions but to learn about French culture, news and politics.
An American in France - Jeff Steiner
So I was delighted when Jeff contacted us with a view to promoting La Maison du Curé. He is developing an application called ‘Southern Burgundy Explorer’ which will be available for use with an iPhone, iPad, Android, eBook and Kindle. It is an insiders’ guide to châteaux, churches and wine with suggestions on where to stay and what to do.
We met up with Jeff in Cormatin. He is very aimiable and much younger than I had expected. Originally from Los Angeles, he now lives near Geneva. He has a French wife whose family own the chateau and vineyards on the right as you ascend the hill just before Brancion. Hence he knows southern Burgundy very well.
We had a pleasant hour in Cormatin, then went to the neighbouring village of Chazelle to visit La Tuilerie where Jeff photographed the old tile factory. Many of the ancient floor tiles in the dining room at La Maison du Curé were produced there. The present owners, Sue & Cees, run a couple of gites and a small campsite.
Photographing the old tile factory at La Tuilerie
Anyway, as I had to google ‘Smartphone’ to see what one was, you will realise that we have none of these new fangled devices. So I am relying on you to try out ‘Southern Burgundy Explorer’ when it becomes available. Until then do take a look at ‘Americans in France’. I am hoping Jeff will keep us up to date with what’s happening in the presidential elections!